As I sit and write this review I am sipping on a hot cup of Earl Grey. Why? Well, for a start I am British so it comes with the territory and secondly, I also like a brew when writing to help get those creative juices flowing, but the main reason is because we are hear to talk about tea, tea and more tea! So in keeping with our subject matter I am drinking my favourite beverage. It’s a hard life, isn’t it?
Jo Malone London also seems to be inspired by the world of tea because they’ve recently launched the ‘Rare Teas Collection’ – a series of fragrances that infuse “straight from the leaf into refined fragrances” teas that are “too precious to drink”. This is a different collection for Jo Malone London because, for the first time, it sees the fragrances packaged in an entirely new bottle, specifically a whopping 175ml column topped by a sumptuous round pebble. The teas this collection celebrates are “revered” and “refined”, and their presentation is most certainly in keeping with these themes.
Oolong Tea, the fragrance I was sent to review, focuses on a fermented version of the tea called ‘Fu Lian Oolong’ sourced just outside of Shanghai, China. Created by perfumer Serge Majoullier (the nose responsible for the entire collection), Oolong Tea is described as a “woody interpretation of tea, with a smoky inflection”, positioning the fragrances as something warmer, richer and a little bit darker than the usually ethereal and green takes on the note one is so used to seeing in modern perfumer. Colour me intrigued as I take another sip of Earl Grey.
Work is stressful. I know, I know, I’m playing the role of Captain Obvious here, but sometimes it just needs to be said, and I’m sure many of you would agree. Anyway, work is stressful and it’s important to enjoy some ‘me’ time after a long hard day at the office. We all have ways of relaxing. My method is tea. I don’t drink tea all day at work but when I get home, I always have a cup of Earl Grey. This has almost become a ritual and often, when that cup is finished, the stress of the day has been washed away and I’m ready to enjoy the evening. I feel cleansed. I think that putting on my skeleton pyjamas helps too, but that’s another post for another day.
Tea has been used for ritualistic purposes in many cultures for thousands of years, but it hasn’t really made much of a break into perfume, despite the fact that it smells heavenly, in all of its varieties. Honestly, there is no odour on Earth more pleasing than a fresh box of bergamot heavy Earl Grey – it’s powdery, zesty and fizzing with black tea goodness. Let’s not even get into the realms of Lapsang Souchong and Jasmine tea – we’ll be here for a while. In short, tea smells great and there is only a handful of decent tea fragrances out there, which is a shame.
Well stop the presses, dear friends, because I think I’ve found a really good one. It’s called L’Ile au Thé (Island Tea) and it comes from chic French fragrance house, Annick Goutal. Created by Goutal’s in-house perfumers, Isabelle Doyen and Camille Goutal, L’Ile au Thé takes inspiration from the volcanic South Korean island of Jeju, where the landscape is littered with fields of tangerines and hills brimming with tea. L’Ile au Thé is more than just a tea fragrance thought – it’s a mood and a feeling, and a restorative landscape born from fire, air and greenery. This is a fragrance that encourages one to spritz, sit back and just breathe.
“Where lava rocks give birth to lush green plant-life buffeted by the winds. Journeying through its undulating landscape, Camille and Isabelle are taken away by their emotions”
Ahh, tea! Is there anything better than getting home from a long, hard day and boiling the kettle for a relaxing hot brew? The answer is simple: no, there isn’t. Tea drinking, much like perfume sniffing, is one of life’s greatest sensory pleasures and with the wide variety of different blends, one can find a world of truly delicious treats with very little searching required.
So does that then mean that the mixture of both perfume and tea would make for an interesting blend? Venerable french perfume house Guerlain certainly seem to think so and with the revamping of their flagship store at no. 68 Champs Élysées they have launched a number of fragrant teas based on a handful their most inconic perfumes in conjunction with Les Thés de Constance.
It’s been a busy week here at The Candy Perfume Towers, hence the lack of posts. I’ve been a busy boy with work-work, university work and a writing project that all seemed to come to a head at the same time. But I’m not complaining, there are worse things in life than being busy right?
Busy is good as far as I am concerned. I am a perpetually lazy person by nature so I need to have lots to do to prevent me from staring at the television or keeping my nose in a book all day. But when there is lots of work to do and deadlines to meet I find that I have to take some time to relax and re-organise my head. In other words, when things get a bit too busy and hectic, it is time for tea!
Tea to me is relaxation, it is also my other vice after perfume. Weirdly, I only drink tea in the evening and at weekends, I never drink tea at work, perhaps because I enjoy nothing more than coming home, throwing on my pajamas and sitting down to some serious blog writing with a nice, hot cup of tea.